Tablets are the latest hot ticket item in the construction industry, everyone either wants to or is using them, and we think that’s great. The iPad and Android tablets have basically controlled the tablet market since its creation, and for good reason: Windows has failed to make their tablets friendly to app developers. While Windows tablets are typically more powerful (see Microsoft Surface Pro 3) than its competitors and can run full versions of all the programs you use on your desktop and laptop (like Microsoft Office and, amazingly, Adobe Photoshop, the Windows app store is noticeably bare and keeps a lot of potential users away.
At the recent Microsoft Build Developer Conference, Microsoft announced that it plans to change all of that. Instead of forcing developers to re-write their programs in the Microsoft format, Microsoft Windows 10 (the latest Microsoft platform replacing Windows 8) will soon allow developers to “port” their Android and iOS into the Windows Store. According to Gizmodo, this will make it ridiculously easy to convert apps on other platforms to Windows devices.
So, who cares? Why did I put this on a construction website? Good questions. The reason is simple, the tablets in the construction industry are becoming very popular and Microsoft tablets are already clearly better than other tablets. It can run a full operating platform just like the one you use on your laptop. They can’t even be called tablets; they’re really just ultra-portable touch screen laptops. The only thing they lack is good applications and now that will be fixed. If you use a tablet on the job site, you can only do certain things until you need to sit down at your real computer and get some work done efficiently.
If Windows can convince developers to start porting their apps to the Windows Store, the construction industry now has as close to a perfect tablet there is at the moment. All of the productivity apps, calculators, project management software and the full ability to run high powered programs, like AutoCAD or Revit that you can think of can be run out of that one device. It’s a no-brainer, and no other tablet can do that yet.
So, before you go out and upgrade your construction company’s tablets, play the waiting game to see if Microsoft is going to change the game.